The Short-Term Exchange Program (STEP) is an exchange program where a family in another country hosts a student for a few weeks or up to 3 months. STEP provides an opportunity for students, like you, experience a different country, culture and environment. At this present time, Rotary District 9630 Youth Exchange committee provide short term exchanges with New Zealand, USA, Canada and France. In our district, the STEP program is a reciprocal program. You will go on exchange to another country and your host sibling will the go on exchange in Australia. You will be matched with a teenager who is similar to you in gender, age and interests.
Who Is Eligible:
- You must have completed years 10, 11 or 12 and be aged less than 18 years when they leave Australia.
- You will usually depart in late November or early December following year 10, 11 or 12. The duration of the exchange is to be negotiated with the parents of the overseas host family.
- As part of the short term student arrangement, Australian families who send a student overseas must be prepared to reciprocate and host a student from the overseas family.
- Short term students do not have to go to school overseas, however it is likely that you will as most students will still be at school between November and January.
- You must be an above average student, have an outgoing and pleasant personality so that you fit the role as an Ambassador for Australia.
- You must have the ability to accept discipline and be capable of adjusting to new and strange conditions.
- If your parents are Rotarians you are eligible for Youth Exchange, but receive no special preference in selection. All applicants are selected solely on merit.
- You must hold a current Australian passport on departure.
- You are required to obey the laws of the host country at all times and accept the discipline of the host school and the host parents. You are required to adapt to the home environment of your host families – host families are under no obligation to adapt themselves to the student.
- Your parents are required to provide the cost of transporting you to and from the host country. This cost varies and depends on your final destination.
- An approved comprehensive Travel Insurance Policy will cover you for the duration of your exchange. The policy is included in the overall fee.
- You will need to pay for your own personal living expenses including clothing, telephone, postage, and travel on organised tours etc. when overseas.
Rotary Youth Exchange Program Timetable:
- Applications for an exchange must be lodged in writing using the Initial Application Form on the Prospective Students page to the chairman of Youth Exchange Program.
- The final application for successful students must be completed and forwarded to the District Youth Exchange Committee for consideration by end of April.
- Early May the District Youth Exchange Committee will assess and interview all applicants selected by individual Rotary Clubs within the District. A final endorsement of students to be sent abroad will then be made, subject to the District Youth Exchange Committee being able to obtain a suitable family overseas.
- No student is regarded as an Exchange Student until officially accepted by a Rotary club and family overseas.
- Note: The STEP timeline is shorter with application preparation and interviews to allow time for overseas countries to process applications.